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RAL-DESIGNED PUSH TUGS START OPERATIONS IN BRAZIL

Wednesday, October 2, 2019 

The 39.6m long tugs will push barges containing bulk products in the Amazon River system. This shallow-draught pusher tug, HB Pirarara and sister vessel HB Pirarucu are to the RAL RApide 4000-Z3 tug design.

During the early phases of design, extensive Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations were used to optimise the hull shapes to minimise total convoy resistance. In all cases, the Z-drives are fitted in customised tunnels designed to optimise flow and propulsion efficiency while reducing draught. This enabled the operator to reduce the overall cost of transportation, and increase the standards of safety, manoeuvrability and comfort.

All vessels are designed to meet ABS and Brazilian Flag State (NORMAM-02/DPC) requirements and provide high standards of crew comfort and safety. The wheelhouse provides maximum all-round visibility with a split forward control station providing unobstructed vision to the foredeck working area as well as to the convoy of barges ahead.

The RApide 4000-Z3 mainline pusher tugs will push convoys of 25 barges, each of over 2,000 dwt, transporting the equivalent of approximately 1,000 double trailer trucks in a single convoy, at a significantly reduced overall cost and environmental impact. This represents the first of several new generation high power Z-drive pusher tugs designed by RAL specifically for operation in this area. The RApide 4000-Z3 accommodates up to 17 people with a large galley and mess on the main deck. The deckhouse extends aft over the machinery space.

Main propulsion equipment comprises three Wärtsilä 8L20 Main Engines, capable of operating on HFO, connected to Schottel SRP 1215 Z-Drive units. Two Caterpillar C18 diesel gensets are fitted in the vessel’s main machinery space at the main deck level, with an additional emergency/harbour genset.

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